Thursday, May 31, 2012

Level 2 Cover Reveal Week Day 3

Hi again! Thanks for hanging out with me this week as I prepare to reveal LEVEL 2's cover tomorrow in spectacular fashion via a very cool behind the scenes video of the cover shoot.  On Tuesday I posted the teaser cover and flap copy, yesterday I posted a giveaway (which you can still enter) for early reader copies of LEVEL 2 as well as the first page, and today I have an interview with Lizzy Bromley, the amazing designer of LEVEL 2's cover.

By the end of this interview, you will have a pretty good idea of what the cover looks like, but that's still not going to prepare you for the awesomeness I have in store for you tomorrow.

Shall we begin?

So Lizzy, thanks for joining us today! My first question is, how do you usually approach designing a cover?

Hi Lenore! So cool to be telling you about the cover for LEVEL 2! It was one of the neatest projects I have had the chance to work on, and it was a blast to create.

Ok, so my approach to cover design always begins with reading the manuscript and just being open to where it takes my imagination. Sometimes I base the cover on the overall feeling and atmosphere of the book. Sometimes it is specific to a certain scene or place. And sometimes, even one sentence can trigger an idea. As I'm reading I'm always looking for the hidden jewel that can become the cover. For LEVEL 2, I was immediately inspired by the sterile white hives and the memory chambers. I knew they would make for a really unique and powerful cover.

See all those dots? They represent the hives of the afterlife world of LEVEL 2. Cool eh?

While writing, the hives and the chambers are definitely something I saw as being very interesting to render visually, so I'm so thrilled you found them inspiring. Did developing the cover for LEVEL 2 present any unique challenges?

I worked with fantastic photographer, Ali Smith, and the main challenge we faced was figuring out how to show the memory chamber. Ali is super inventive and when I described the concept to her she immediately knew that our best bet was to actually build the chamber ourselves. We trekked all around lower Manhattan hitting plastic stores and hardware shops for materials. The day of the shoot it took us a few hours to get it built. We used sheets of clear and shiny white plastic, wedged between apple boxes and clamped together to form a tube big enough to contain the model, Elizabeth White. Ali was going to photograph through the clear plastic and so we had to wear white gloves as we were handling it so that there wouldn't be any fingerprints on the clear plastic. And poor Elizabeth had to shimmy into the chamber on her back to avoid messing up her awesome hairdo (compliments of amazing makeup artist, Bre Welch). It was definitely a very tricky shoot! At first I was worried that our chamber would be too confining for Elizabeth, but once we the camera started rolling she completely came to life with action and energy. It was such a relief, seeing it all come together.

Wow - I wish I could have been there for that! But all your hard work was worth it. In my opinion, the final cover completely captures the thriller mood of the book. Did you consider other concepts as well?

There are projects where I cycle through several ideas until the right one clicks, but for LEVEL 2 the initial concept and the final product are actually very close. I had a really strong gut feeling about what I wanted this cover to be and thanks to my amazing team, we got it right from the get go.

The cover for LEVEL 2 avoids the current trends we see in YA covers (like headless models, passive girls and fancy dresses). Are trends something you look at when approaching design?

I definitely like to know what's going on out there in the world of covers, but when I am designing I usually forget about all that. It's more important to me to create an image that is in harmony with the story's voice, and unique to it specifically. I also want to keep challenging myself as a designer, and so with every new project I think of ways to push the envelope. Chances are, if a cover has been fun for me to work on, it has a better chance of being fun to look at!

Thank you Lizzy! I think the LEVEL 2 cover is very fun to look at -- and I hope everyone out there agrees when they finally see it tomorrow! 


Lizzy Bromley is also the designer of the covers for WITHER and FEVER by Lauren DeStefano (among many others). She talked about her process working on those covers here and here


Beth S. said...

The cover sounds Ah--freakin'-mazing! Can't wait until tomorrow! :)

Bonnie @ A Backwards Story said...

This cover is going to be epic and unique. Can't WAIT!!

Liviania said...

The cover sounds great. And I love that the model on the cover isn't going to be passive.

Smash Attack Ash said...

What a neat job, to be able to read the book and let it lead your imagination in creating the cover. I'm glad to read that this actually happens, as there are many covers out there that make readers scratch their heads and wonder how it fits in with the story.

bermudaonion said...

I can't wait to see the cover! Happy birthday, Lenore!

Zibilee said...

This sounds like the most amazing cover, for what I know is going to be an amazing book! Thanks for giving us an inside peek into what went in to creating it. By the way, I hope you have the happiest of Birthdays!

Shellie said...

Happy happy birthday =) Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings!

Linda said...

Looking forward to tomorrow!!!!

Steph Su said...

Goal #1394857 in Steph's life: to attend a photo shoot for a book cover. It sounds so intensely exhausting, yet fulfilling!

chrisa511 said...

OMG this is so exciting!!!! Of course this all had to be the week I was completely absent from bloggin :p Congrats on this exciting week Lenore :)

Ali said...

Fascinating. I'm reading this after watching the behind the scenes video--now I have to go back and watch the video again!